Monday, January 8, 2018

Conversion reversal

More than two years ago, I undertook a project of modifying half a dozen Native Way CH257 tanged triangular Chinese arrowheads into socketed Scythian-style trilobals.  The result was acceptable in weight though a bit crude in appearance.  However, when I shot them at Marathon 2015, the heads had a tendency to lodge in the wooden target while the rest of the arrow popped loose, as the arrow glue by which they were attached failed.  Arrowheads with the tangs left intact did not come loose.

I was left with two options:  order more arrowheads and convert them into trilobals without removing the tangs (arrowheads of this type are known from Achaemenid Persia, though rarer than the socketed types), or try to attach new inserts with a stronger bonding material.  In this case I chose to create new tangs by soldering the socketed heads to metal inserts.

Since the sockets were created with a 1/8-inch drill bit, it was easy to create the tangs from 1/8-inch brass rod.  I sanded the ends of the rod segments up to past where they would enter the sockets to make sure they were clean and free of oxidation, smeared a little solder paste (top) onto the tangs and placed the arrowhead onto the tang.

I worried that the tangs would anneal and wind up bending if they struck a hard target.  To try and prevent this, I clamped each tang up to 1/4-inch from the point in a heavy vise before hitting it with the gas torch, and applied heat only just until the solder melted and flowed around the junction.

The soldering seems to have been successful, but whether it will be strong enough to withstand shooting into hard targets remains to be seen.  With a melting point of 430F, this is not a "hard" solder, and the contact area can't be very large.

I also took the opportunity to anneal and straighten the tang of a Native Way G202.  While I have not yet tested it, I think that crooked tangs may run the risk of bending further when striking a hard target.  On the other hand, tangs that have been softened too much through annealing may also wind up bending.  These questions will have to wait until spring for answers.

No comments:

Post a Comment